Kate Ogborn

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Hockney Review


Excellent

A suitable portrait of one of Britain's greatest living painters, this artful documentary offers wonderful access to David Hockney, his family, friends, colleagues and of course his artwork. And what makes the film essential viewing is the way it breaks through the surface to explore what makes Hockney tick, how he approaches each technological innovation in his work, why his paintings have such an impact and how he fits into art history. It might be a bit long and rambling, but fans wouldn't want to cut anything out.

Hockney was born in West Yorkshire in 1937 and has always said he was brought up in Hollywood and Bradford, "because as a child I spent all my free time at the pictures". Movies gave him a wider perspective on the world, which is exactly what he has worked to do in his art, whether by bending sight-lines in a painting, pasting together Polaroid pictures or shooting a panorama on his iPhone. These angles draw people into his work in unusually personal ways, opening up around us and forcing us to see the familiar through different eyes. Filmmaker Randall Wright delves into several of Hockney's most iconic paintings, revisiting locations and tracking down the people depicted in them, adding meaning and relevance to images we thought we knew.

He also lets Hockney explain his feelings about events throughout his life, from swinging-60s London to art-boom New York to his second home in Los Angeles. And there are devastating memories from the 80s and 90s, when he lost two-thirds of his friends and colleagues to Aids. The stories Hockney and others tell are packed with lively details about his paintings, his relationships and even his sexuality, putting him into the context of the times while also exploring his lasting impact on the art world. Tand the film itself has a lush artistic style to it, playfully indulging in familiar images while catching funny comments and strong emotional moments along the way.

Continue reading: Hockney Review

The Deep Blue Sea Review


Excellent
Based on the 1952 Terence Rattigan play, this exquisitely made British drama moves at its own slow pace, pitting repressed emotions against reckless passion. It's also rather gloomy and downbeat, almost reluctant to let us see glimmers of hope in the story.

Hester (Weisz) is tormented by the trajectory of her life: the wife of High Court judge Sir William (Beale), she has fallen for the dashing Battle of Britain pilot Freddie (Hiddleston), who lets their physical relationship dissipate as he struggles to find a role in society after the war. Now isolated and desperate, Hester attempts suicide but only succeeds in making her life worse. Freddie is furious, and William is unnervingly caring. She's caught between the devil and the deep blue sea: is there any way she can have a happy life?

Continue reading: The Deep Blue Sea Review

The Unloved Review


Excellent
Actress-turned-filmmaker Morton shows a remarkable confidence as director of this intensely personal drama, which is loosely based on her own experiences.

And even though the story wobbles along the way, it's a vital, involving film.

Lucy (Windsor) is an 11-year-old living with her father (Carlyle) in Nottingham. But when a schoolteacher discovers that she has been violently beaten, she's placed in a care home, sharing a room with 16-year-old tearaway Lauren (Socha). Lauren takes Lucy on several rather illicit outings, constantly landing the pair in trouble. And when Lucy wonders why she can't live with her mother (Lynch), her social worker (Stacey) only says that it's not possible.

Continue reading: The Unloved Review

Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review


Very Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

Continue reading: Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review

Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review


Very Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

Continue reading: Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story Review

Kate Ogborn

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Kate Ogborn Movies

Hockney Movie Review

Hockney Movie Review

A suitable portrait of one of Britain's greatest living painters, this artful documentary offers wonderful...

The Deep Blue Sea Movie Review

The Deep Blue Sea Movie Review

Based on the 1952 Terence Rattigan play, this exquisitely made British drama moves at its...

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The Unloved Movie Review

The Unloved Movie Review

Actress-turned-filmmaker Morton shows a remarkable confidence as director of this intensely personal drama, which is...

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Movie Review

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Movie Review

At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,...

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Movie Review

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Movie Review

At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,...

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